“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by” Robert Frost
I took the one less traveled by. I took the one less traveled by. “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost is one of the most famous poems in american literary history. Even if you don’t know the poem in its entirety you know the tag “I took the one less traveled.” So famous is the tag that many believe that is the name of the poem. While it sounds glamorous to say, traveling this road is not for the fainthearted. The road less traveled is an adventure into the unknown. The rewards however, though unknown, are often greater.
Taking the road less traveled is a daunting task. It is not worn smooth. To make your way along takes some effort. Many would turn back. There is debris along the way combined with low hanging branches. You may fall down. You may get scratched and bruised. Many will not understand why you didn’t “just take the easy route.” They really don’t understand why you continue along the way though hurt.
For those who take the road less traveled by, it is not necessarily a choice. It is a way of life . They have never taken the easy route. They don’t exactly know why it is so. I believe they are wired to be that way. Traveling this road requires bravery. Not the slaying dragons type of bravery but bravery to stand up to the doubt, questions, accusations, taunting thrown your way by those walking on the safe path. They don’t necessarily mean any harm, but they are wired the “normal” way. They believe why do something the hard way when the easy path has already been worn? Life, for them, is not necessarily about the journey. It is about getting to the end. There is no right or wrong road. It just depends on how you are wired.
Most entrepreneurs and certainly ALL inventors take the road less traveled by. One must be willing to endure a great deal of scrutiny to come up with something new- either business or product idea. Some people think they are entrepreneurs if they own a franchise or their own, for example, Mary Kay business. While this is most certainly an admirable undertaking, I’m speaking about not the reps but Mary Kay Ash herself or the inventor of the Flowbee for the purposes of this discussion.
Most entertainers are taking the road less traveled. For as many success stories as you see, do you understand how many others lie broken and beaten on the side of the road- fallen victim to sacrificing everything to pursue their dream? The same can be said of athletes. Sometimes it is not so global of an undertaking but more of the small details. The high school graduate who is leaving home to go hundreds of miles way to become educated in a city where no family resides while all of his/her friends remain local is an example. The person who is willing to travel to foreign lands to work because they have a burning desire to see the world that can not be quenched is another. The person who gets a college or even more advanced education but chooses to do grassroots work in the community while their counterparts pursue careers with six figure incomes is a third. All of these people are making their way along the road less traveled by- not always because they want to but because they have to. It is part of their DNA.
So I say to the weary traveler as you rest on the side of the path. Rest, but don’t stop pressing. Don’t let the “others” get you down. They don’t and won’t understand you. That’s okay. Just BE you. And if the path you are walking dead ends or gets too rough, don’t fret. There is another fork up ahead and another road less traveled by. Press on warrior.